Friday, January 18, 2008

Missing a bluff: -EV ...or -POT?

Here is hand I think I played pretty damn poorly. I could have won the pot at several points in the hand, but each time I failed to do what was required. Here was the hand:

$2/4 6 max(No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 17/Jan/08 15:32:43

Hero is at seat 1 with $526.40.
Villain is at seat 2 with $497.90.

-------- posts the small blind of $2.
-------- posts the big blind of $4.
Hero: Jd Jh
Villain: -- --

Hero raises to $14. Villain re-raises to $48.
-------- folds. -------- folds. --------
folds. -------- folds. Hero calls.

At this point, due to my notes and his image I put the villain on a bigger pair or AK, with a small chance of him having TT/99. He’d reraised me with position a few times previously, and I had laid down each time, so he had to credit me with a pretty decent hand if I called.

Flop (board: Jc 8h Th):
Hero checks. Villain checks.

As I didn't reraise the flop, I gave the impression of either a big Ace or a mid pair. I check here with my top set, hoping the villain will lead if he has an overpair and I can then substantially check raise him. Unfortunately, my opponent is a very good player, and checks on what he correctly recognises as a dangerous flop. I still don't know if he has an overpair or AK unimp. The pot was big enough to try and take with a bet here (like I normally would), and push on any raise. My first mistake.

Turn (board: Jc 8h Th As):
Hero bets $102. Villain calls.

The turn I didn't really like as it hits one of the 3 likely overpairs the villain may have, and provided a gutshot for the other 2 overpairs, so I fired a pot bet. He called pretty quickly, and so I surmised that he most likely wasn't on a draw, and that he obviously didn't hold KK or QQ (or 99 for the OESD). The only possible 'drawing' holding really was AhKh, but the action just wasn't in keeping with a monster draw like that, and as he was a good player I couldn't see him calling a turn pot bet with an obvious flush draw and a gutshot. I didn't stop to think that the most likely hand he would call with on such a dangerous looking board was a set. My second mistake.

River (board: Jc 8h Th As Qs):
Hero checks. Villain bets $145. Hero

This is where I fell apart. I knew he didn't have KK or QQ. I had discounted AK from his range. What I should have done is put him on a set, and recognised the most likely one was a set of Aces. If I had thought all of this through, I would have recognised that he would have been very scared of me having a K, and then fired a 2/3 pot bet, putting him to the test and hopefully eliciting a fold. Instead, I checked, for mistake number 3.
So, faced with a check instead of a value bet, my opponent can see that I likely don't have a K. He then decides his hand is good enough to try a value bet. Now I am faced with a tough decision. I manage to work out he doesn't have a straight, but fail to see that he isn't value-betting with a set lower than mine. The only way I can actually win is by bluff raising allin to represent the King that neither of us have, but instead I elect to check-call.


Villain shows Ad Ac.
Villain has Ad Ac Jc As Qs: three aces.
Hero mucks cards.
(Hero has Jd Jh.)
Villain wins $592.50 with three aces.

So as I said, I'm not too thrilled about how I played it, but I'm hoping that thinking about what I did wrong recognising the ways I could have played it better will mean I'm less likely to make the same mistakes in the future. I suppose I should actually be grateful the board didn't pair on the river, as there wouldn't have been any getting away from the resulting fullhouse...


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I'm not sure there's too much you coulda done there. I mean it sounds like you had a monster read on the guy but it's tough to lay that down.

SubZero said...

Cheers, it was certainly a tough spot.

I think I should have laid it down on the end though. That or grown some balls and raised ;- )

Klopzi said...

I'm surprised you didn't go broke on the hand - then again, I only play at the $100 NL level.

Generally, I'd bet the flop and try to get as much money into the pot. I'm not sure if trying to put your opponent on AA is worth the effort given the amount of aggression and 3-bets you'll see at 6-max tables (even at my buy-in level).

Anyway, good stuff. I'm working my way through your posts from most recent to earliest.